Opinion | Troubled by code proposals

The Kitsap County commissioners are incomplete in explaining the current Title 5 effort. (“County’s path to address code compliance,” Sept. 27)

In May received the proposed draft, dated March 21, 2014. The proposal included specific direction for submission of comments. I submitted comments on May 20 and received acknowledgement from DCD and one commissioner. A meeting of concerned citizens and Commissioner Rob Gelder was held on May 26. Gelder noted that he had not read the proposal. The attendees expressed their concerns with the proposal. On July 16 a revised draft was issued. On July 23 a “stakeholders” meeting” was conducted at the Home Builders. The primary issue was the need for this separate enforcement ordinance. County staff responded by noting several difficult cases over a several year period. How the proposal solved the problem was not identified.

The draft assumes tenants are agents of landlords and a county responsibility to intervene in neighbor disagreements. The proposal requires any property sold be brought up to current code. Failure to do so would place anyone involved at legal risk. The proposal shifts violation resolution to administrative law, eliminates the rules of evidence, and shields accusers in third party complaints.

In separate correspondence with a citizen, Director Larry Keeton stated a) most people who violate a code don’t know they are in violation, b) that processing under the current Constitutional mandated process is slow and costly, and c) that “district court judges lack the education, knowledge and desire to deal with (the) issue”. It’s time for factual reporting to encourage active, educated public participation.

Jack Hamilton

Kitsap Sun Letters to the Editor



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